Syria’s Katerji brothers have been blacklisted by six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – in the first such known act against prominent regime-affiliated businessmen by countries of the region.
Wassim Qattan is a Damascene businessman who emerged among Syria’s business elite only a few years ago and is believed to be acting as a front for powerful regime personalities. Unknown prior to 2017, Mr Qattan has acquired several high-profile contracts from state institutions in the real estate and hospitality sectors. With little information on his source of wealth, he is widely believed to be acting as a front for wealthy and powerful regime personalities, even if the identity of his sponsor remains unclear.
Fares Shehabi (b. 1972), also known as Fares Ahmad Al-Shehabi, is a prominent Aleppan businessman who is mainly active in the pharmaceutical sector. Throughout the decade-long conflict, Mr Shehabi has been one of the most outspoken supporters of the regime.
Cement sales, a proxy for construction activity, declined by around 10 percent last year, according to data from various sources.
Last month, the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) lost its main gateway to the outside world and a crucial financial lifeline after the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) suddenly closed two border crossings that link Northeast Syria to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI). Consequently, all trade, including that of oil, has been suspended, as well as cross-border movements for all actors, including NGOs.
The National Islamic Bank, Syria’s fourth Islamic Bank and twenty-first local bank, closed its initial public offering with a subscription rate of 273 percent.